Hyderabad, January 21
India pace bowler Mohammed Siraj today revealed that the on-field umpires had offered his team the option of leaving the field during the third Test against Australia after he was subjected to racial abuse by the crowd in Sydney.
Siraj and his senior pace colleague Jasprit Bumrah faced racial abuse for two days at the Sydney Cricket Ground, forcing the Indian team management to lodge an official complaint with match referee David Boon. Cricket Australia later offered an unreserved apology for the abuse.
Siraj, called a “brown monkey” by some spectators, had reported the matter to skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who brought it to the notice of on-field umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson.
“I faced abuses in Australia. The case is going on, let’s see whether I get justice or not. My job was to report the incident to the captain,” the 26-year-old, who was India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps in the 2-1 series win, said on his arrival here.
“The umpires offered us to leave the game but Rahane bhai said we won’t leave the game. We did no mistake, so we will play,” said Siraj. The game was halted for a few minutes on the fourth day and ended in a thrilling draw.
He said the unruly crowd behaviour acted as a morale-booster for him during his debut Test series. “The abuses which I faced in Australia made me mentally stronger. I didn’t let them affect my game,” Siraj said. Six spectators were expelled from the stadium after play was held up during the match.
Cricket Australia has promised to take strong action against those found guilty.
Dhoni comparisons feel amazing: Pant
New Delhi: Rishabh Pant, the hero of Brisbane, said while comparisons with MS Dhoni are flattering, he wants to carve his own identity in the game. “You feel amazing when you are compared to someone like MS Dhoni and you compare me with him,” Pant said after landing here. “It’s amazing but I don’t want to be compared with anyone, I want to make myself as a name in Indian cricket.” — PTI